Adept has leveraged its experience making LON/IP routers to push the envelope of performance for price. One of the ways to grow the LON market in general is to lower the cost of LON network infra-structure without sacrificing performance. The GRouter4 Lon /IP router does just that, and then some. It’s not just the least expensive but also the smallest (only uses 35 mm of Din rail) LON/IP router on the market. It is standards compliant and highly interoperable. It’s the only one with a WiFi interface option.
By improving significantly the performance for price ratio, the GRouter4 makes systems integrators more competitive, not only in the LON market, but also makes LON more competitive versus other automation protocols.
There is a perception that IP is not a first class citizen with LON. This is not true. The open standard 852 IP tunneling protocol is a fully standard channel for LonTalk. Using 852 LON/IP for the network backbone has significant advantages. Typically IP infrastructure (wiring, switches) already exists so it’s a great place to leverage capability for little cost. Even when IP infrastructure does not exist, the huge IP market keeps costs down. Typically the single biggest cost in using an IP backbone is the LON interface to IP. By driving this cost down Adept has changed the value equation.
The right size granularity and scalability provided by the GRouter4 cost effectively enables the use of a simpler one tier backbone instead of the two tier used by our competitors. The best performance for price for a two tier backbone is a four port FT-10 to 1250 router (tier 1) plus a 1250 LON to IP router (tier 2) that together can tunnel four lightly loaded FT-10 channels over IP. For about the same cost, one could instead use four GR4s that each directly tunnel one fully loaded FT-10 channel over IP (tier 1). All four would all fit in less than half the space. This four GR4 one tier approach has a higher performance for price ratio (pps/k = packets per second per $1000) than this best case for the two tier approach. If the number of FT-10 channels is three or five then the granularity of one GR4 per ft-10 channel is even more cost effective.
Another way that the GR4 improves competitiveness is as a remote channel extender. Two of our routers can be configured to bridge FT-10 channels over an IP channel. The FT-10 channels don’t even have to know that there is an IP link between them. Two of our GR4 routers will typically cost a lot less than adding another head end controller to the remote site. With multiple remote sites, the economics get even better, as you only need one GR4 at the location of the head end controller and only one additional per remote site. Also your integration is simpler; you are just bridging the networks at the LON level, plus you have a transparent, flat, and open network.
Moreover, the GRouter4 WiFi enables connecting channels without wires, thus saving the cost of wiring and installation when wiring is not already in place. All this in a compact, industrial temperature rated, DIN rail mountable package.